Even though George Kelly wrote only one seminal work (1955, 1991), his impact on personality psychology is remarkable. His personal construct theory lias generated a sizable number of empirical investigations, including nearly 600 empirical studies on his repertory test, which suggests that his theory has fared quite well in generating research.
Because he was among the first psychologists to emphasize cognitive sets, such as schema, Kelly's idea of personal constructs in a very real sense was instrumental hi forming the field of social cognition, one of the most influential perspectives in social and personality psychology today. Social cognition examines the cognitive and attitudinal bases of person perception, including schémas, biases, stereotypes, and prejudiced behavior. Social schémas, for instance, are ordered mental representations of the qualities of others and are considered to contain important social information. Although many researchers in the field of social cognition use conventional questionnaires, some have followed Kelly's lead and use phenomeno-logical or idiographic measures such as the REP test or some modified version of it (Neimeyer & Neimeyer, 1995). More recent applications of the REP test methodology, for instance, have analyzed the different construct systems of sexually abused and non-abused individuals (Lewis-Harter, Erbes, & Hart, 2004).
In the following two sections, we review some research on gender as a personal construct as well as smoking and self-concept.
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